My sons really like minecraft. So this weekend (with the hopes that they will learn something about the internet) I figured out how and host your own minecraft servers on the Mac.

This article is for moms and dads who are looking for instructions on how to setup and host minecraft servers for their kids. It will help if you know a little bit about programming and the internet. Of course eventually the hope here by having mom and dad setup a server, the kids will learn about programming and the internet, and will be able to get jobs and no longer rely on mom and dad (hurray!).

Anyways, here are some bare bones instructions on how to get this going on a Mac.

Step 1: Download minecraft server

Download the jar file version near the bottom. Once downloaded, unzip, open a ‘terminal’ and type:

> java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar minecraft_server.jar

Replacing minecraft_server.jar with whatever version of minecraft your downloaded.

This command starts the server. Once running your are in effect hosting a minecraft server on your machine.


It will create a whole bunch of files and directories. To stop it type:

> stop

Step x: Create a server


Step 2: Setup port forwarding

If others are going to connect to your server, they are going to need an address on where to connect to. Port forwarding enables your kids friends to directly connect to your computer by forwarding the data on through your wifi router (which masks it) to your computer.

Download Port Map.


Unzip it, install it, run it, and configure it as follows:


Step 3: Turn off your firewall

Open preferences -> Security

Screen Shot 2013-09-08 at 8.06.41 AM

You may need to click the lock at the bottom, enter you account password, turn off, and then save changes.


Step 4: Connect

Go back to Port Map and write down these numbers depending on whether you are connecting via local wifi or internet:



Then have your friends fireup the minecraft clients and ‘Directly Connect’ replacing the numbers below with your own as follows:





Note: Public port number may be different than local.


Wifi means you are all on the same local Wifi network.
Internet means your friends are at home across the city.

Voila! If all goes well you should see a screen that looks like this:


Trouble Shooting

If you fail to connect – don’t despair. There are lots of other videos and how-tos out there. I created this one specifically for the Mac because no one told me about the firewall step.

Keep googling, keep trying stuff, and have fun!